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Wayfair Workers Protest Furniture Sale to Detention Centers Caging Immigrant Children
April Glaser, reporter for Slate and co-host the podcast If Then
Employees at online home furnishings retailer Wayfair walked off the job to protest the company's decision to sell $200,000 worth of furniture to a government contractor that runs a detention center for migrant children in Texas. The protest triggered a broader backlash against the company, with some customers calling for a boycott. Several hundred people joined the protest at a plaza near the company's Boston headquarters, a mix of employees and people from outside the company.
More than 500 employees at the company's Boston headquarters signed a protest letter to executives when they found out about the contract. Wayfair refused to back out of the contract. "Last week, we found out about the sale and that we are profiting from this. And we are not comfortable with that," said Tom Brown, 33, a Wayfair engineer at the protest. "For me personally, there is more to life than profit."
The protest comes amid a new uproar over revelations of terrible conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, including inadequate food, lack of medical care, no soap, and older children trying to care for toddlers. Emotions were also running high one day after photos published by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada and distributed worldwide by the AP showed the bodies of a migrant father and his young daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to enter the United State.
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